Louisiana’s Jamie Laiche leads on Ouachita River

Blackfish Rain Ad

Louisiana’s Jamie Laiche leads on Ouachita RiverJamie Laiche of Gonzales, La., only traveled four hours to get to the 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, so it seems like he would have home-lake advantage over the rest of the field. However, he had never fished the Ouachita River until he started pre-fishing it earlier this fall, and now he leads the event on Day 1 with 16 pounds, 6 ounces.

“I call the Atchafalaya Basin my home water,” Laiche said, “and so I’d call myself a shallow-water, stump, cypress tree fisherman. This is right in my wheelhouse.

“I’m used to fishing tough for seven to eight bites a day, which is how this is fishing,” he said.

Laiche is one of a handful of anglers who brought small boats to navigate the stumpfield of the Ouachita.

“I gambled a little and brought the smaller boat,” said Laiche, referring to his 17-foot Bass Tracker boat that is only 6 feet wide but floats in 7 inches of water. “It’s got a small motor on the back that floats high, and that’s key to getting into those shallow backwaters.”

The drawback to that small boat? “It goes 28 miles per hour,” said Laiche with a laugh. “They’re all passing me.”

He’s covering a lot of water in his area, though, just using his trolling motor. He’s relied a lot on a push-pole, too, which has left him muddy from each time he pulls it out of the water.

“I try to control the things I can control in a tournament,” Laiche said. He can’t control the depth of the water and certainly not the weather, but he can control what craft he drives. “It’s the best way to fish more effectively when the water is this low.”

If Laiche maintains his lead, he’ll qualify for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. And it will be eight years after his other trip to the Classic, back in 2008 on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have that second day back,” Laiche said. The Ascension Area Anglers club member had qualified for the Classic that year through the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. He had a great first day that put him in the Top 20. But then, the second day came.

“I changed my game plan because of the weatherman,” he said. “I should have stayed with my game plan.” He ended up finishing in 38th place.

“If you ever fish the Classic, all you can think about is going back,” Laiche said.

Laiche is not the only previous Classic qualifier in contention to go back to the big show. The top angler from each division will advance. Laiche currently leads in the Central Division, but he is trailed closely by Albert Collins of Texas, who qualified in 2013, and Doug Thompson, who qualified in 2014. Paul Mueller of Connecticut leads in the Eastern Division, and he has qualified for both of the last two Classics. David Watson and Jami Fralick in the Northern Division are in striking distance, as are Mark Pierce, Southern, and Tim Johnston, Western.

Laiche is confident going into Day 2, but he’s not counting his chickens before they hatch.

“There is no comfortable lead in the Central Division,” he said. “It’s got some phenomenal anglers. I can’t slip. I’ve got to make the right decisions, I’ve got to execute, and I’ve got to have all my equipment top-notch.”

Laiche added that he would be very surprised if he could follow up with another 16-pound sack.

Sixteen pounds was a larger bag than most people predicted. Many anglers expected the top weight on the first day to come in no heavier than 12 pounds. But besides Laiche’s 16-6 sack, Fabian Rodriguez brought in 14-8, and Albert Collins followed with 14-1.

The river is producing far better than it did last year when the championship was here during the same week under similar conditions. On Day 1 in 2014, only 29 anglers had limits and three had zeros; in 2015, 46 had limits and no one goose-egged. The overall weight caught on the first day is higher this year by nearly 150 pounds, even with the same number of competitors. And Alabama’s Coby Carden led on Day 1 last year with 11 pounds, 8 ounces — which would put him in eighth place this year.

The competition will shake out more on Day 2 on Friday, when the air temperature is predicted to drop by as much as 10 degrees and rain will likely come. The change in weather comes as a relief to some anglers and is worrisome to others.

The biggest bass for Day 1 was a 4-pound, 9-ounce largemouth caught by South Carolina’s John Proctor. Proctor is leading the Southern Division, looking for his first trip to the Bassmaster Classic. Other division leaders are Laiche, Central; Paul Mueller, Eastern; Rodriguez, Mid-Atlantic; Gary Adkins, Northern; and Robert Peixotto, Western.

Competition resumes at Forsythe Park in Monroe, La., Friday at 6:15 a.m. CT. The weigh-in will also be at Forsythe Park at 2:30 p.m. CT. The event concludes on Saturday, Nov. 7. Tune in to Bassmaster.com for updates and for live streaming of the weigh-ins.

2015 B.A.S.S. Nation Title Sponsor: Old Milwaukee
 
2015 B.A.S.S. Nation Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
 
2015 B.A.S.S. Nation Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Nationwide, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
 
About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
 
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

 

2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship 11/5-11/7
Ouachita River, Monroe, La.
(BOATER) Standings Day 1

   Angler                         Hometown                             No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Jamie Laiche            Gonzales, LA (Cntrl)              5  16-06  0
2.  Fabian Rodriguez     Ocean City, DE (MidAt)         5  14-08  0
3.  Albert Collins            Nacogdoches, TX (Cntrl)       5  14-01  0
4.  Doug Thompson       Mabelvale, AR (Cntrl)            5  12-09  0
5.  Paul Mueller              Naugatuck, CT (East)           5  12-04  0
6.  John Proctor              Conway, SC (South)            5  11-11  0
7.  Charles Sim               Ottawa CANADA (East)       5  11-10  0
8.  Preston Frazell           Cleveland, OK (Cntrl)          5  11-01  0
9.  Robert Peixotto           Albuquerque, NM (West)    5  10-10  0
10. Gary Adkins               Green Bay, WI (North)        5  10-06  0
11. Samuel Ferroni          POGGIO A CAIANO PRATO I 5  10-00  0
12. Alex Wetherell           Middletown, CT (East)        5  09-15  0
13. Billy Lemon Jr           Sand Springs, OK (Cntrl      5  09-14  0
14. David Watson           Sullivan, IN (North)              5  09-12  0
15. Joaquim Maria Lopes    Evora PORTUGAL (Cntrl)  5  09-11  0
16. Matthew Roberts       Pulaski, IA (Cntrl)               5  09-06  0
17. Davick Hansen          Clinton, UT (West)             5  09-05  0
18. Donald Adcock          Richland, MS (Cntrl)          5  09-02  0
19. Pat Hanning              Tucson, AZ (West)             5  08-14  0
19. Brad Weese              Petersburg, WV (MidAt)     5  08-14  0
21. Brian Harold              McGaheysville, VA (MidA  5  08-13  0
22. Greg Vance               Dubuque, IA (North)          5  08-12  0
23. Kieron Samkin           Gillitts SOUTH AFRICA    5  08-10  0
24. Mark Pierce               Radcliff, KY (South)          5  08-08  0
25. Marcelo Lozano         San Luis Potosi MEXICO 5  08-07  0
26. Levi McNeill               West Valley, UT (West)    5  08-05  0
27. Jami Fralick               Martin, SD (North)            5  08-04  0
28. Larry Triplett              Castle Rock, CO (West)   5  08-03  0
29. Nick Leonard             Cincinnati, OH (North)      5  08-00  0
30. Dave Andrews           Hudson, MA (East)           5  07-13  0
31. Bruce Cooke              Greendale ZIMBABWE (Mid 5  07-11  0
32. Dan Brown                 Joliet, IL (North)               5  07-09  0
33. Cesar Ventura Pecellin Munoz Badajoz SPAIN (East)    5  07-07  0
34. Steven Wilson           Rohnert Park, CA (West)  5  07-05  0
35. Tim Johnston             Kalispell , MT (West)        5  07-04  0
35. Roger Thomas           Snow Hill, NC (South)      5  07-04  0
37. Chad Shutty               Northern Cambria, PA (M 5  07-03  0
38. Jeff Fischer                Farmington, MI (North)     5  07-02  0
38. Brent Shores              Boise, ID (West)               5  07-02  0
40. Brad Durden               Atlanta, GA (South)          5  07-01  0
41. Samuel Bounds Jr      Charleston, WV (MidAt)   5  06-13  0
42. Casey Smith               Macedon, NY (East)         5  06-09  0
43. Michael McMahon      Hackettstown, NJ (MidAt  5  06-08  0
44. Wayne Black              San Mateo, FL (South)     5  06-05  0
45. Kory Ray                    Lebanon, OR (West)         5  05-14  0
46. Jerome Pape             Milford, IA (Cntrl)               5  05-13  0
47. Corey Brant               Minnetonka, MN (North)    2  05-13  0
48. Alec Williams             Windhoek NAMIBIA (MidAt 3  05-11  0
49. Lance Freeman         Eddyville, KY (South)        4  05-10  0
50. Brian Croteau            Blackstone, MA (East)      4  05-09  0
51. Kyle Glasgow Jr        Guin, AL (South)               3  04-15  0
52. Kentaro Yamada       Osaka JAPAN (West)       2  03-13  0
53. Jackie Barber            West , TX (MidAt)             3  03-09  0
54. Skip Sjobeck             Randolph, VT (East)         3  03-08  0
55. George Barnes         Cambridge, MA (East)      3  03-02  0
56. David Kromm            Kennewick, WA (West)     2  02-05  0
57. Robert Williamson     Gorham, ME (East)          2  01-15  0
58. Stephen Kanowski    Shorncliffe AUSTRALIA ( 1  01-03  0
58. Stephen Pike             Las Vegas, NV (West)     1  01-03  0
———————————————————————–

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1       46       263       462-12
———————————-
          46       263       462-12

TEAM STANDINGS Day 1
———————————-
    State                Lbs-Oz
  1 CENTRAL              106-06
  2 WESTERN              80-03
  3 NORTHERN            75-10
  4 EASTERN               69-12
  5 MID-ATLANTIC       69-10
  6 SOUTHERN            61-03

INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS Day 1
———————————————————————–

NORTHERN
    Angler                     Hometown                    No./lbs-oz Total $$$
  1 Gary Adkins           Green Bay, WI              5   10-06  0
  2 Samuel Ferroni      POGGIO A CAIANO PRATO I 5   10-00  0
  3 David Watson        Sullivan, IN                    5   09-12  0
  4 Greg Vance           Dubuque, IA                  5   08-12  0
  5 Jami Fralick          Martin, SD                      5   08-04  0
  6 Nick Leonard        Cincinnati, OH                5   08-00  0
  7 Dan Brown           Joliet, IL                          5   07-09  0
  8 Jeff Fischer          Farmington, MI                5   07-02  0
  9 Corey Brant          Minnetonka, MN             2   05-13  0

CENTRAL
    Angler                     Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$
  1 Jamie Laiche         Gonzales, LA                5   16-06  0
  2 Albert Collins          Nacogdoches, TX        5   14-01  0
  3 Doug Thompson     Mabelvale, AR             5   12-09  0
  4 Preston Frazell       Cleveland, OK              5   11-01  0
  5 Billy Lemon Jr         Sand Springs, OK        5   09-14  0
  6 Joaquim Maria Lopes  Evora PORTUGAL  5   09-11  0
  7 Matthew Roberts    Pulaski, IA                     5   09-06  0
  8 Donald Adcock       Richland, MS                 5   09-02  0
  9 Marcelo Lozano      San Luis Potosi MEXICO      5   08-07  0
 10 Jerome Pape         Milford, IA                      5   05-13  0

WESTERN
    Angler                     Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$
  1 Robert Peixotto      Albuquerque, NM             5   10-10  0
  2 Davick Hansen      Clinton, UT                       5   09-05  0
  3 Pat Hanning           Tucson, AZ                      5   08-14  0
  4 Levi McNeill            West Valley, UT              5   08-05  0
  5 Larry Triplett           Castle Rock, CO             5   08-03  0
  6 Steven Wilson        Rohnert Park, CA            5   07-05  0
  7 Tim Johnston          Kalispell , MT                  5   07-04  0
  8 Brent Shores           Boise, ID                         5   07-02  0
  9 Kory Ray                 Lebanon, OR                  5   05-14  0
 10 Kentaro Yamada    Osaka JAPAN                2   03-13  0
 11 David Kromm         Kennewick, WA              2   02-05  0
 12 Stephen Pike         Las Vegas, NV               1   01-03  0

EASTERN
    Angler                    Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$
  1 Paul Mueller         Naugatuck, CT               5   12-04  0
  2 Charles Sim          Ottawa CANADA           5   11-10  0
  3 Alex Wetherell      Middletown, CT              5   09-15  0
  4 Dave Andrews      Hudson, MA                   5   07-13  0
  5 Cesar Ventura Pecellin Munoz Badajoz SPAIN               5   07-07  0
  6 Casey Smith         Macedon, NY                 5   06-09  0
  7 Brian Croteau       Blackstone, MA              4   05-09  0
  8 Skip Sjobeck        Randolph, VT                  3   03-08  0
  9 George Barnes     Cambridge, MA              3   03-02  0
 10 Robert Williamson    Gorham, ME              2   01-15  0

SOUTHERN
    Angler                    Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$
  1 John Proctor         Conway, SC                    5   11-11  0
  2 Kieron Samkin      Gillitts SOUTH AFRICA   5   08-10  0
  3 Mark Pierce          Radcliff, KY                      5   08-08  0
  4 Roger Thomas      Snow Hill, NC                  5   07-04  0
  5 Brad Durden         Atlanta, GA                      5   07-01  0
  6 Wayne Black         San Mateo, FL                5   06-05  0
  7 Lance Freeman     Eddyville, KY                  4   05-10  0
  8 Kyle Glasgow Jr    Guin, AL                         3   04-15  0
  9 Stephen Kanowski  Shorncliffe AUSTRALIA       1   01-03  0

MID-ATLANTIC
    Angler                       Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$
  1 Fabian Rodriguez    Ocean City, DE                5   14-08  0
  2 Brad Weese             Petersburg, WV               5   08-14  0
  3 Brian Harold             McGaheysville, VA          5   08-13  0
  4 Bruce Cooke            Greendale ZIMBABWE    5   07-11  0
  5 Chad Shutty             Northern Cambria, PA      5   07-03  0
  6 Samuel Bounds Jr   Charleston, WV                 5   06-13  0
  7 Michael McMahon    Hackettstown, NJ             5   06-08  0
  8 Alec Williams            Windhoek NAMIBIA         3   05-11  0
  9 Jackie Barber           West , TX                          3   03-09  0

print